2018 Olympic champion in figure skating Alina Zagitova gave an interview to 7 Days, in which she spoke about her path to success, defeats, relationships with coach Eteri Tutberidze and attitude to criticism after the release of the Ice Age show.
The figure skater remembered the beginning of her career in figure skating and her first experience with Tutberidze and admitted that it was not easy for her. At the age of twelve, I ended up in the Tutberidze group. At first I went to Moscow with my mother, but then Eteri Georgievna said that my mother did not need to be near me so that she would not distract me from training, although this had never happened. Zagitova noted that fans often underestimate the work that skaters put into training. People who watch skaters' performances on TV sometimes don't even realize how much effort has been expended. We have a sport where you can’t show how hard it is for you, but you need to do everything with ease. This is why it seems to everyone that skating is not at all difficult, but in fact it is a lot of work.
Zagitova said that Tutberidze kicked her out of the group shortly after she was seriously injured. As Eteri Georgievna says, I was lazy. Until the age of 12, I was engaged in figure skating in Izhevsk – in the provinces, not so much was demanded of us there. And at the moment when I got into the Tutberidze group, it seemed to me that I was squeezing the maximum possible out of myself. But apparently this was not enough. I was not used to such loads yet, I did not understand what they wanted from me. But now I started to get some kind of triple jumps (I didn’t do them in Izhevsk).
And then in training, I broke my arm around the wrist. I went to the competitions with a special light splint, and broke my leg there. Time has passed. The cast was removed, I had a little practice in my hometown and went to Moscow. And at the very first training session, Eteri Georgievna told me: “I'm kicking you out.” Zagitova left for another coach, but after several failures she decided to return to her native Izhevsk. The figure skater went to say goodbye to Tutberidze, and she decided to give the girl another chance. My grandmother and I bought a bouquet, came to Eteri Georgievna to give flowers, thank her and say goodbye, saying: “We are leaving Moscow, thank you for everything.” And she says: “Let's try again.”
The figure skater admitted that work comes first for her, but training takes a lot of her strength. She added that her character is not easy and after a hard day it can be difficult for her to interact with people. At such moments, after hard training, I don’t really like to contact people, and my parents want to ask me, find out the details. I answer: “Mom, dad, I can't talk.” In fact, I am not a gift at all, my character is complex. Now Zagitova has suspended her career and is studying to be a journalist. The girl already has experience as a TV presenter: she took part in the filming of the Ice Age show. After the release of the show, the audience criticized her: it seemed to many that the girl felt insecure in front of the camera. Zagitova admitted that she did not tolerate comments addressed to her well.
It was a very difficult moment for me. Of course, I'm not a TV presenter. Maybe at first I was unprofessional. But I take criticism so hard! And now I sometimes don’t understand why people behave this way, but I don’t personally know them. I sometimes want the person who criticizes me to come to me and express all the claims to my face and explain them. Alina admitted that at that moment she was very supported by Alexei Yagudin, who worked on the set with her: he gave her useful advice.